*Says civil society groups not anti-government
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Civil society organization organisations (CSOs) in Delta State have commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for appointing child rights advocate, fiery lawyer and ex-Nigerian Olympian, Bridget Anyafulu, as his Senior Special Adviser (Child Rights Advocacy).
The groups also expressed implicit confidence in the ability of Anyafulu, who is also a renowned child rights activist, to live up to the expectation of the governor in appointing his as his aide.
At a grand reception in Asaba for the governor’s new aide organized by the Koyenum Immalah Foundation (KIF), the civil society groups said they were optimistic that the people and child rights as well as the welfare of widows in the state would benefit greatly from Anyafulu’s wealth of experience and passion for the vulnerable in the society.
Speaking, Faith Nwadisi, Executive Director of KIF, a non-governmental organisation, noted that the role of CSO’s was not to fight government but to ensure that it is on the right track by pointing out its errors and proffering solutions, stressing that they actually complement the positive efforts of government for the betterment of the people.
Nwadishi pointed out that all the civil society organisations have collaborated with government on so many development issues that bother on the welfare of children, women, widow, the aged and the entire society, saying they would continue to work with government in any way that would lead to the betterment of the society.
All the civil societies have decided to throw their weight fully behind Anyafulu to wards her success because of their belief in her ability to deliver, she said, warning that anybody undermining her would be undermining the generality of civil societies in the state as the appointment was a validation of her impact in the society.
Nwadishi, however, advised Anyafulu not to compromise when it comes to development issues.
The. KIF boss also urged her to pursue the Child Rights Act, which was still begging for proper implementation though long passed by the Delta State House of Assembly.
“It is worth celebrating, we should learn to celebrate our own; it is the first time civil society practitioner will be appointed. We thank the Governor and the reception is to encourage the Governor to do more and to tell him that we are behind Anyafulu,’’ Nwadishi stated.
Representatives of Centre for a international Development, Girl Power Initiative (GPI) and KIF also expressed optimism about the capacity of Okowa’s appointee to deliver with Okeke Nwachukwu, Emmanuel Bello, Hope Nwadishi, Michael Ani and others making similar remarks.
In her response, Anyafulu reminded that what Governor Ifeanyi Okowa gave her was not an appointment but an assignment over children, parents and everybody in the society, which she has accepted with the permission of other civil society organisations to do religiously, do better and get results.
She assured that while complementing the work of government, she would follow best practices to uphold child rights and defend widows and the vulnerable.
Anyafulu pledged not be intimidated by government environment but to discharge duties in accordance to global best practices of civil societies, saying she would strive not deviate from the essence of survival, development and production of Child Rights Act by fostering its full implementation in Delta State.